Background

The Vice-Chair introduced the summary of the technical meeting held in Santiago from 12 to 14 January 2011 under the leadership of the Committee’s outgoing Chair, Mr. Somavia (CEB/2010/HLCP-XXI/CRP.1). The meeting, which had been mandated by the Committee at its previous session to deepen and broaden its ongoing work on moving towards a fairer, greener, sustainable globalization, benefited greatly from the participation of the Executive Secretaries of the Regional Commissions. It explored various policy options and approaches, with a focus on globalization and policy coherence as viewed from the regions, the interlinkages among the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainable development, and institutional and governance issues.

Discussion

Members of the Committee thanked the Vice-Chair for his leadership of this work, which offered an opportunity for the United Nations system to be proactive and “ahead of the curve” in helping to usher in a new pattern of globalization. It also offered the system the opportunity to align itself with its core values, by framing the discussion in terms of equity, freedom and human security, and to focus on transformational areas in which it could have the greatest impact, in particular those in which it was already engaged. They concurred that this work would be an important contribution to the formulation of the United Nations agenda up to and beyond 2015.

The Committee agreed that, by and large, cross-cutting issues were not limited to any one category of countries or set of circumstances, and that they offered the United Nations system the opportunity to identify vital themes as the bedrock of efforts to address the interlinkages among the three pillars of sustainable development. There were suggestions aimed at greater emphasis on peace, equity and education in the work ahead. Members also referred to the importance of such issues as human rights, population and urbanization, as well as of work to support fragile States. Other issues mentioned included women’s economic empowerment, information and communications technology, cybersecurity, social media and the knowledge society, disaster risk reduction, food security, global health, climate change and the green economy. However, some cautioned that in moving forward, the Committee should be selective and avoid including too many cross-cutting issues, at the risk of losing focus and relevance.

Action

The Committee agreed that its continued work on a fairer, greener, sustainable globalization would proceed in two stages: the elaboration of a first report for discussion within the United Nations system, which would possibly also serve as an input to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20); and a more comprehensive, policy-oriented report to be completed in the course of 2012. The Vice-Chair of the Committee would lead in the development of the annotated outline of the first report, working with a small group of individuals designated by the current and past Chairs.